Date of Award
College of Liberal Arts
Type of Degree
Dr. Kevin Barksdale, Committee Chairperson
Dr. Dan Holbrook
Dr. David Trowbridge
This thesis argues that Confederate heritage groups leading the Lost Cause Movement in West Virginia promoted Stonewall Jackson, through tactics such as ceremonies, publications, and monuments, to the point where his appeal expanded beyond that of former Confederates and their descendants. During the late 1800s, Confederate supporters in the state formed branches of Confederate heritage organizations and espoused a Lost Cause narrative with Stonewall Jackson as its figurehead. In doing so, they accomplished two things: to integrate the seemingly proUnion West Virginia into Confederate memory, and to gain acceptance of Confederates as full members of West Virginia society. Jackson’s advocates also upheld him as an ideal role model for all white West Virginians- a military hero, and a symbol of honor, integrity, and piousness. They ignored or downplayed certain aspects of his career, such as Jackson’s support for total war or black flag war, lack of empathy for his soldiers, petty disputes with officers, and pro-slavery views. This white, male, Christian, native-born, chivalrous figure became popular as an example of a “true” West Virginian. His rise to prominence in the state during the early 1900s coincided with a period of intense racial discrimination against African Americans, as well as an influx of foreign immigrants into the state. He was used as a rallying point for advocates of white, nativeborn supremacy. During the dedication of the 1910 statue, for example, many attendees wore white lilies in support of the “lily-white” campaign to disenfranchise African American voters. During the memorialization process, Jackson transitioned from being known primarily as a Confederate figure into a popular West Virginian symbol over the course of the twentieth century. The enduring presence of Jackson in the form of various monuments, government endorsement, and public and private entities bearing his name, demonstrates the profound success of the Lost Cause movement in West Virginia.
Jackson, Stonewall, 1824-1863.
Jackson, Stonewall, 1824-1863 -- Monuments.
West Virginia -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865.
Politics and culture -- West Virginia.
Straley, Steven Cody, "“A Constant Reminder to All”: Remembering Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson in West Virginia" (2021). Theses, Dissertations and Capstones. 1371.